Tawse Winery at the Vintners' Dinner
How We Got Started
Tawse Winery was established by Moray Tawse, a Burgundy Wine lover, in 2001. Moray came across this great vineyard in the middle of the escarpment. He had a beautiful state of the art, gravity flow, sustainable winery built, which officially opened to the public in 2005. Since the acquisition of his first Estate vineyard, Moray bought several more over the years. All of our 140 acres of vines have been cultivated Organically and Biodynamically for many years now, and this makes us the most important producer of certified Organic and Biodynamic wines in Canada. About 75% to 80% of our production comes from our own vineyards, the rest comes from grapes purchased from other local high quality growers.
Our main focus is to make high quality wines from low yielding vines and traditional winemaking techniques. Our core varieties are Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Sparkling wine has become a very important category for us as we acquired a sparkling wine bottling line in 2012. We now make 6 different Traditional Method sparkling wines. Our newly added sparkling wine is a Pet Nat (petillant Naturel) made from Estate Chardonnay grapes. When I joined Tawse in 2018, our portfolio was definitely smaller, but we still really strive at making high quality wines. Many new products have been added to our line up in the past 3-4 years, including four Natural Wines (no sulfites added, unfiltered), and a couple of ciders (bottle-fermented and bone-dry, and a off-dry in cans). Additionally, we recently got a distiller’s license and installed a beautiful copper pot still. We are now making Gin, Vermouth and Grappas, and these spirits will officially be launched at our winery the 3rd weekend of May.
What we are pouring at the Vintners' Dinner
2017 Limestone Ridge Vineyard Sparkling Riesling ($20.95, LCBO #, Certified Organic and Biodynamic): Made entirely from Riesling grapes found on our Certified Organic and Biodynamic Limestone Ridge Vineyard, this sparkler was made from the traditional method and aged on lees for about 16 months. Our Winemaker’s always intend to make this a super fresh and mouthwatering sparkling Riesling. And please don’t think that this tastes sweet because it is Riesling, in fact it tastes quite dry. Instead, expect notes of lemon peel, verbena, mineral ending with a vivid and dry finish. This wine will pair well to raw oysters, deep-fried calamari rings with Sriracha mayo, potato chips, seafood salad, goat cheese.
2018 Sketches of Niagara Rose ($17.95, LCBO # ): Our blend of rose changes every year depending of the vintage. In 2018, it was made from a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Gamay. After the grapes were pressed, the juice was fermented in stainless steel vats. It produced a dry, fruity and fresh rose that will go well with Salade Nicoise, charcuterie board, grilled salmon.
2017 Redfoot Vineyard Gamay ($28.95, Winery Only): We have been producing a single vineyard Gamay from the Redfoot Vineyard for a few years now. This “non-estate” vineyard is not organically cultivated, but it provides us with excellent fruit from low yielding vines. This was made like a Pinot Noir, and aged in French Oak barrels for 8 months. It is light to medium bodied, packed with succulent and “crunchy” black fruit, combined with earthy and spicy tones. A perfect match to grilled sausages, tomato based pasta dishes, gourmet pizzas, light beef stew.
2014 Quarry Road Chardonnay ($36.95, LCBO #: Our estate’s Quarry Road Vineyard produces exceptional chardonnays from deep limestone soil. This is a classic Niagara Chardonnay, fermented with wild yeast in a mixture of 228L and 500L French oak casks, then aged for an additional 14 months. You will find beautiful aromas and flavours of fresh green apples, lemon rind, toffee, wet stone, mushroom, spices. It is medium-full bodied, round, but with excellent tension on the finish. Pair with lobster dishes, pan-seared scallops, Cornish hen with roasted root vegetables.
2015 Grower’s Blend Cabernet Franc: To me, 2015 was an outstanding red wine vintage. It produced super structured reds with plenty of fruit, acidity, tannins and concentration (yields were low). Our Grower’s Blend Cabernet Franc is made from selected premium sites and was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months. It reveals flavours of blackberry, blueberry, violet and a touch of leather and spices. It is medium-bodied +, and there is a great fruit/acid/tannin balance. Perfect with grilled venison, rich pasta dishes with ragu sauce, roasted leg of lamb
I will be honored to be representing Tawse Winery at this year’s Vintner’s Dinner, and I can’t wait to see you all.